Jackie Kennedy's papers show eye for detail at White House

Photographs showing former president John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie and the couple's children, John Jr. and Caroline, on display at an auction of the late president's momorabilia in New York, March 19, 1998. REUTERS/Peter Morgan

BOSTON (Reuters) - Personal papers from Jackie Kennedy’s time as U.S. first lady released on Monday show her as a detail-oriented manager as she ran her office and oversaw major White House projects during the presidency of her husband John F. Kennedy.

The records, released by the John F. Kennedy presidential library, range from her efforts to restore the state rooms of the White House to notes detailing changes to the CBS script for a televised tour she gave of the presidential mansion in central Washington D.C..

” show just her incredible attention to detail and her understanding of art, history, aesthetics and public diplomacy,” said Tom Putnam, the library’s director.

Many of the documents are staff files, some with the first lady’s handwritten notes. “She was a very savvy person and that’s what these papers show,” Putnam said.

Kennedy was just 31 when she moved into the White House, and the papers show her deep personal engagement with the home’s restoration and the 1962 televised tour. “This really was a hallmark for her. It’s like she was introducing herself to the American people,” Putnam said of the tour.

Also included in the personal documents, which were donated to the library by Caroline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, Jr, are items related to her travel abroad, state dinners she ran and press coverage, the library said.

President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Jackie Kennedy, who married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in 1968, died in 1994.

The papers were the first release from a collection entitled Personal Papers of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis which span her life and are being made public as they are processed by archivists.

Editing by Greg McCune and David Storey